“Given my current role, I am an animal of night calls!” says Seoul-based Jihyun Cathie Tak, whose responsibilities as senior director, counsel, and compliance officer at Kyndryl Holdings, Inc., span multiple time zones throughout the Asia Pacific region, including China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and the ASEAN countries.
Tak previously worked for IBM in a similar role, and when Kyndryl spun off from IBM in 2021, she moved to the new IT infrastructure services company to head its compliance operations in Asia. In the same year, Tak was invited to serve with fellow legal industry leaders on an independent judging panel for the Asian Legal Business Korea Law Awards, a mark of esteem within the region.
Born in Korea, and educated both in Korea and in the US, Tak spent the formative years from seventh to eleventh grade in California. Her exploration of international relations and cross-border trade as a graduate student in Korea led her back to the US, to BC Law, and afterwards to work as an attorney for a leading international trade law firm based in Washington, DC.
Family ties drew Tak and her husband, who is also Korean, back to Korea in 2009. As legal counsel at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and later as litigation counsel for LG Display, Tak gained extensive experience in antitrust litigation and regulatory proceedings in many jurisdictions. As she leads Kyndryl’s compliance operations throughout Asia, Tak mobilizes all that experience. One key responsibility is training employees and leadership teams to reinforce a culture of integrity, in large-scale online and in-person sessions that take months of preparation and can involve up to a thousand participants. The most satisfying parts of her job, says Tak, are seeing her in-house clients make “the tough yet right decisions,” and contributing to her colleagues’ growth and development. Even in a competitive corporate environment, says Tak, she keeps in mind Professor James Repetti’s advice in the last session of the lone tax class she took at BC Law: “Be kind to everyone along the way.”
To read other pieces about BC Law abroad, please click here.